IAG Looks Inside To Find New CEO

Insurance Australia Group has looked inside in finding a replacement for retiring CEO, Peter Harmer.

The insurer announced on Monday that it had chosen its chief financial officer, Nick Hawkins as managing director and CEO of Insurance Australia Group.

Mr. Hawkins has been serving as deputy CEO since Mr. Harmer announced his retirement plans in April and will officially take the reins on November 1.

Mr. Harmer had been CEO for five years.

IAG chair Elizabeth Bryan praised the appointment in Monday’s announcement.

“Nick has a deep understanding of both global and domestic general insurance along with operational and financial experience, and this will ensure a smooth transition for IAG,” she said in a statement to the ASX.

Mr Hawkins joined IAG in 2001 and worked two years as CEO of IAG New Zealand before spending 12 years as group chief financial officer.

Prior to IAG, Mr Hawkins was a partner at accounting firm KPMG specialising in financial services, working from the company’s Perth, London and Sydney offices.

Co-incidentally the retirement of Michael Hawker, a former IAG CEO (and senior Westpac executive) from the board of Macquarie Group was announced yesterday after a 10-year stint.

IAG shares rose 0.2% to $4.54 yesterday.

Mr Hawkins takes the top job at IAG after the insurer dropped its final dividend due to a combination of the impact of COVID-19 plus the bushfires and other bad weather claims in 2019-20.

IAG reported a 60% drop in full-year profit to $435 million, compared with the prior year. As CFO Mr. Hawkins would have intimate knowledge of the weak financials at the insurer.

There’s no certainty an interim payout will be made for the current half because of the uncertainty and continuing impact of the pandemic and recession.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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